Our Story

As the 60’s began to fade, new hope arrived for Manitobans waiting for the gift of a healthy kidney. In November 1969, the team at the Winnipeg General Hospital (now HSC Winnipeg) performed the province’s first kidney transplant.

Kidney transplantation is the treatment of choice for patients with end-stage renal disease because it saves lives and provides a better quality of life compared to dialysis.

The process behind kidney transplants today is much less complicated than it used to be. To prepare for the possibility of renal transplant services, a committee of trustees, administration and medical staff spent a year determining if the hospital had the necessary facilities and staff to support it. A moral and ethics committee was also formed to establish recommendations and procedures to guide the process. In October 1969, the hospital’s Board of Trustees officially approved the life-transforming procedure and the kidney transplant program began the following month.

Learn more about this first surgery from a first-hand account of one of the team members who participated in this historic event.

That first step more than 50 years ago set Manitoba on a path to making significant contributions in kidney disease research and transplantation practices that have made an impact around the world.

For more information about this and other collections, please visit HSC Winnipeg’s Archives

Here are some highlights through the years: 

Recognizing donors, living donors and donor families and the gifts that have been offered to others in need is important to the team. These are a few examples of how donors are honoured.

Raising awareness about organ and tissue donation means working with great people and meeting even more! Here is just a sample of some of the amazing activities the team has been a part of.

Throughout the program’s history, there have been many important milestones, including the ones shared here. 

For more milestones, please take a look at our timeline.